The Bible clearly talks about the destruction of an entire country and the people in it in what seems like one in a century or maybe one in a millennial kind of situation.
While the Almighty God ruined the planet by decreasing its population through a worldwide flood, one can think that the world’s population couldn’t have been so bad during the first flood and the effects, while felt by nearly all, couldn’t have been so bad because Noah and his family were the only people left alive.
In the case of this prosperous country, however, its destruction came at a time when the world was already a huge population and prominent scholars had already rated the nations of the world. Just imagine destroying the world when there was no name for the nations of the world, and now imagine destroying one nation or two great states amongst other prosperous states and nations.
Imagine the terror, the fear, and the horrific actions that in a nation like that must have been the order of the day.
If something has been taught to us by the Bible, it is that God is not one to be easily provoked. So it brings up the issue of what could have been done by these states to deserve such damage. What they would have been doing, what their way of living would have been. I guess I should remind you of the infamous “Sodom and Gomorrah” if you have gotten the states I ‘m talking about by now.
Sodom and Gomorrah were two great states known in the nation and in the entire ancient world. I guess they were once the Old World Babylon, the trade spot, the states where everybody goes to have a nice time. The Las Vegas of those days, maybe.
A nation which is famous and extremely wealthy. Regardless of their riches and the fact that they acted as a hotspot for those looking for a better existence, in one of the most horrible ways of destruction, God still chose to destroy these nations. Many have believed that what angered God and set his sights on Sodom and Gomorrah was simply stuff like polygamy, incest, greed and idolatry. We can’t be sure, but we know that Sodom and Gomorrah were actually regarded as a sinner’s hotspot.
Ok, technically, this article is not about what caused Sodom and Gomorrah’s ruin, which will be discussed later.
This article really deals with the angels sent by Heaven to kill these great states. Three or two of us? What were their names?
Two or Three Angels?
In fact, the bible makes it clear that there could only have been three angels who came down from heaven for that event (the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah). Maybe I should just say that the Bible provides us with a clue as to this effect. Abraham was visited by three angels, according to the Bible (Genesis 18:2). Just two went down to Sodom and Gomorrah, though, and now the question you’ll be left with as you read is simple: what happened to the third angel?
I would claim that, in truth, the Bible does not give us the details of these angels’ names. The Jewish text, known as the Talmud, however, gives us a clearer picture as it states that Raphael, Michael and Gabriel are their names (found in Bava Metzia 86b).
From the relationship these angels had with Abraham, well, they were only referred to as a community according to the Bible. And as people, not. For example, “Abraham stood above them,” “They said to him” (Genesis 18:8-9)
There were cases where one of them behaved as an entity, even as they were referred to as a party. One of these angels gave the prophecy of Isaac ‘s birth to Sarah and we are led to believe that this was Michael in fact (Genesis 18:10). In Sodom, only Lot was warned by the angel Raphael to leave the city (Genesis 19:17). Just like the angels above acted individually, the last of them, when he told Lot that the city was going to be destroyed, Gabriel also acted as an entity.
Now what we know from the contexts given from the verses above is that angels conduct individual missions. They may have appeared at the same time in the house of Abraham, but they had numerous assignments. These tasks, while related, were still very different: the mission of Michael was to inform Sarah of God’s gift to her. The mission of Raphael was to cure Abraham and save Lot, and the mission of Gabriel, of course, was to kill the city. It would seem that the role of Raphael was two tasks, but because both of them are about saving individuals, it’s all right to call it just one task. (18:2 and 19:16 Genesis, Talmud-Bava Metzia 86b)
Now to the question, why did these angels, when they had different missions, appear at the same time at Abraham’s house?
Well, the answer is actually quite simple: the angels might have appeared at the same time on earth and at Abraham ‘s house, but they had different missions, as I said. There was no point pursuing the other two (Gabriel and Raphael) to Sodom and Gomorrah, since Michael’s goal was to tell Sarah of the child she was to have. He actually didn’t have any business there. He would have returned to his post in heaven after Michael had to deliver his letter, while Raphael and Gabriel finished the mission they were given.